Archive for the ‘E. B. White’ Category

By all reading standards, I’ve been deprived. I never read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.CharlottesWeb  That is until now. The copy I read was born the same year I was, so that made it even more charming as did the fact that Susan bought it for me as a birthday present…at my request. Susan said it’s the first book she read on her own. I guess it’s not really a ‘guy’ book that young boys would flock to. But, for an old geezer like me, it was adorable. It didn’t cause a torrential outpouring of tears, but it made me smile and fall in love with Wilbur and Charlotte and the g-g-goose and g-g-gander, and of course the rat. The illustrations by Garth Williams were simple and added so much to the story. Charlotte’s Web is a book for all ages. It’s a great read aloud, so if you’ve got a child or grandchild, put him/her/them on your lap, open up to page 1. You and your audience will be as radiant as Wilbur.

YearOfBillyMillerOn the other end of the spectrum is a new release: The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes. We all know what kind of stress and anxiety second grade can cause and Billy is right there on the stress-o-meter. Will he be smart enough? Will he say the wrong thing? Mr. Henkes has penned a book that will make you smile. Broken up into four segments: Teacher, Father, Sister, Mother, we suffer along with Billy as he thinks he inadvertently insulted his teacher on the first day of school, helps his artist father get his ‘breakthrough’, decides whether he loves or hates his younger, demanding sister and finally write a poem about his mother, all the while dealing with Emma, a crabby classmate.  There’s nothing sinister going on, no major hurdles to jump over, just the normal, everyday worries of a second grader. If this book doesn’t make you smile, then you’re crabbier than Emma.

In conclusion, if you want two feel good books, I heartily recommend Charlotte’s Web and The Year of Billy Miller.

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